Half Notes: Trey Anastasio – Bar 17 (2006)

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by Tom Johnson

Poor Trey. Not only did he get wrapped up in dealing with a major label in 2005 with Shine, he also had to deal with the double-whammy of two decidedly non-fan friendly formats that Columbia insisted on releasing the album through, the shoddy DualDisc format and the now notorious virus-laden copy-protected discs put out by head company Sony. The album suffered on all fronts: The music sounds like it had been relentlessly tampered with until it no longer sounded natural and free, like Phish’s music did — the very aspect his fans enjoyed about their music and wanted to hear him continue to produce in his own music. Well, by 2006, Anastasio had fled Columbia for his own label, Sony had been sued numerous times for its copy-protection, and DualDisc was on its death-bed, and we were all better for it. Trey put together exactly the kind of album in Bar 17 that fans were expecting with Shine — exuberant and light-hearted, yet serious in the right places. It was everything that Shine struggled to be.

Half Notes is a quick-take music feature on Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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